In Fits and Starts and Finally…

Blue Ridge Counry Morning
Blue Ridge Counry Morning

I won’t try to finesse this. I’ll just tell it straight out:

Given a continuance of what passes for good health and wellness of joint and limb and a smiling-on by the muse and the nymphs and elves who I trust to save me from my general lack of creativity and drive, I’ll have a second book in print by summer. Maybe by mid-spring. Who can tell.

I share this here because, even though there are several orders of removal today between this blog and its irregular and fleeting cadre of readers and the close-knit group of 2002 through 2005, it was here that the writing habit took root, and here that Slow Road Home was born.

With that book, more than 30 blog readers contributed to one degree or another as editors, giving everything from exacting opinions about comma placement to wholistic impressions of the book in toto. It was a collective work, really, born of a community of readers I felt I knew and who knew me well enough to be frank and supportive at the same time.

That was then, this is now. I don’t have so many I can call on to read, though I’ve farmed out three of the nine sections thus far to local friends I think might take the time and care to read 8000 words in the section they have before them.

I lack my previous mentor for InDesign, and will call the Media Center at Virginia Tech shortly to see if they can assign me someone to save me from my ignorance when bogged down in the inevitable cul de sac I’ll soon find my self mired in.

So I’ll tell a bit more for those who might care for such as the next weeks and month or two come along, finding occasional need even with this immense project to blog here from time to time.

Now, I’m thinking about a cover image for the book. Folks seemed to have appreciated the cover of Slow Road Home and since I have so many pictures of the barn, I may start there for inspiration.

In a somewhat advanced fetal state: What We Hold In Our Hands: A Slow Road Reader.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Fred, I will be glad to read for you, should you need someone. And I love the barn pictures! Any picture from Floyd County would be beautiful! I miss my Floyd County views now that I live in Chattanooga!

  2. Fred,
    What I know about editing and punctuation can be put in a thimble and you’d still have room for a cup of coffee. HOWEVER, What with me being simple minded, if I can understand it, anybody can. I’m up for helping with the reading if I can.

  3. I’d be delighted to lend a reader’s eye and ear to the project, should you need another. Splendid idea, like throwing a noodle against the wall to see if it sticks.

    Your photographs are of a piece so incredibly well-composed and utterly ravishing in color and hue and subject; you could close your eyes and pick any one of them, it would be suitable in my opinion. But this post’s photo is stunning, I agree with kenju.

  4. Exciting news!
    I won’t be able to help, but I will cheer from the peanut gallery!
    And the photos…how to choose! They all are so wonderful.